Sibal to unveil telecom policy today

Thomas K. Thomas New Delhi | Updated on November 17, 2017

The draft New Telecom Policy 2011, to be unveiled by Telecom Minister Mr Kapil Sibal, proposes to recognise telecom as an infrastructure sector


The New Telecom Policy 2011 to be unveiled by Communications and IT Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal, tomorrow is expected to bring a lot of cheer to consumers.

Its immediate impact is likely to be on roaming tariffs. Users will be able to pay one rate wherever they are, including free incoming calls even while roaming.

Also, intra-circle MNP (mobile number portability) will enable consumers to carry their phone number anywhere they go.

The policy is expected to deal with a wide range of other issues including, importantly, giving thrust to broadband uptake and spectrum management.

“NTP 2011 has the vision of broadband on demand and envisages leveraging telecom infrastructure to enable all citizens and businesses, both in rural and urban landscape, to participate in the Internet and Web economy,” states a draft policy document viewed by Business Line.

Mixed bag for operators

For the operators, the new policy could mean more loss in revenue and more expenditure. But it is likely to give them relief by allowing spectrum trading and sharing.

The policy also envisages giving telecom sector infrastructure status, which may be helpful in getting some tax benefits

The policy is expected to cover other issues, including spectrum availability, new licence regime, restructuring of existing Government systems, promoting domestic manufacturing of equipment, security of communication networks and consumer protection.

However, it is not expected to give a direction on spectrum pricing or method of allocation since these are still being thrashed out with the telecom regulator. The policy is also not expected to give specifics of how the listed objectives will be met.

Tech-enabled approach

“The thrust of the policy is to facilitate the application of new, technology-enabled approaches to overcome developmental challenges in education, health, skill development, employment generation, etc.

“The second, externally focussed goal is to harness the power and capability of the whole of India in ICT to contribute more substantially to meet global demands,” the draft said, adding that in achieving the goals of NTP-11, revenue generation will play a secondary role.

Published on October 09, 2011

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